If you are still undecided on the upcoming election or for whatever reason are not planning on voting for either of the candidates I am sure you have heard the spiel. It usually starts off by explaining to you how democracy works and how it’s your responsibility and even your duty to vote. This is usually accompanied by multiple mentions of blood and sacrifices for more dramatic effect. Then you are presented with a short description of each candidate: one may be old, greedy, sold out, rich, decrepit, traitor, out-of-touch, demented, erratic, unfamiliar with the world map, racist, sexist, cheater, more of the same, etc; the other one is inexperienced, Muslim, Osama, Hussein, black, racist, elitist, liberal, tax-and-spend, community organizer, radical, friend of terrorists, etc. Next you will hear about the scary stuff: vote for one and your daughter will die from illegal abortion, Brown will be repealed, Declaration of Independence will be thrown out and we will submit to the crown; vote for the other and your daughter will have to wear a burqa, your check will be deposited straight into the IRS and terrorists will win. Then another reminder of your sacred duty to vote with a hint that only an idiot will vote for the other candidate, you don’t want to be that idiot, do you?
I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard and read plenty of similar calls for action. No one explained to me so far why I should vote for their candidate. Yes, I said their because I don’t have one of mine. What if you have, as a well-informed citizen, decided that neither candidate is good for the country? What if you you feel that you are being pushed for yet another vote for “the lesser of two evils”? What if you can intelligently argue your point? Does it make you any less of a citizen, or just a less gullible one?
People died for democracy and your right to vote but did they really want you to vote for the candidate you don’t care about, just to scribble a check-mark in the “I voted” column. Your vote for the unacceptable (to you) candidate only validates the election system which with every cycle spits out two of the most grotesque personalities with no solid plan for the country, knowing that you will be a good citizen and vote for one or the other. “More of the same” or “Change we can believe in” seems to be the choice. What if I don’t want more of the same but don’t believe in this particular kind of change? And even if I did, what if I don’t think your candidate can carry it out?
I think that a no vote is a valid vote. It’s a vote for a better candidate. It’s a demand to stop forcing me to vote for mediocrity. It’s a vote of protest. It’s a vote to stop treating me like a moron, with stupid soundbites like “change” and “American hero”, hoping that I will not pay attention to the rest. It’s a vote to let me make up my own mind and do what I feel is the best for the country.
By the way, I didn’t know someone was assaulting “Brown”; in a country where 20% of the military is black it doesn’t seem like the brightest idea. As for “Roe v Wade”, for all the ridiculousness of the idea of repealing it, it may happen, in which case I see the states asserting their rights (10th Amendment). That’s what the people died for – for the Country, for the Constitution, not for the misguided discharge of your duty to vote.